The Short Report - July 8, 2020: A new innovation hub for Toronto, National Bank doubles down on Nest Wealth, and more

Mark Mann
July 8, 2020

The Bank of Canada is partnering with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) to launch a BIS Innovation Hub in Toronto. Scheduled to open within two years, the new facility will be one of four locations in North America and Europe dedicated to understanding the digital economy and the technological transformation of financial services, according to a release. - Investment Executive

National Bank of Canada's venture-capital arm NAventures announced it will make an additional minority investment of up to $50-million in Toronto-based robo-advisor Nest Wealth and bring some of its services in-house. The bank previously invested $6 million in the Toronto-based firm in 2017, and this new expanded agreement will allow the bank to accelerate some of its digital initiatives, including an online savings account that allows clients to set investment goals. - The Globe and Mail

Since its inception three years ago, the Global Talent Stream (GTS) has contributed to over 40,000 people coming to work at Canadian tech companies. This program may become more appealing now that the U.S. has decided to freeze new work visas for the remainder of the year, creating an opportunity for Canada to become a leader in technology and innovation post-coronavirus. - CIC News 

Employment minister Carla Qualtrough announced that the federal government will invest $40 million over three years in the Union Training and Innovation Program. Eligible organizations can apply through two streams: Stream 1: Investments in Training Equipment; and Stream 2: Innovation in Apprenticeship. Successful applicants will help unions improve the quality of training through investments in equipment and materials and support innovation and broad-based partnerships to address challenges faced by apprentices. -

Toronto-based medical device company UROCAM received approval from Health Canada for its COVID-19 GeneFinder™ Test Kit and is now making the test available for distribution in Canada. The test has already been used extensively in the United States, South Korea, Italy and elsewhere, with 15 million tests sold in over 35 countries to date. - Canadian Business Journal

Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) launched a strategic supply challenge aimed at developing sustainable and globally competitive manufacturing capabilities in Canada for products critical to protecting the health of Canadians. Projects will be selected for funding based on critical needs identified by the federal government, the long-term viability of manufacturing those products in Canada, and the ability of manufacturers to produce products that are safe for use and meet required product and production quality standards. - NGen

Canada is working to strengthen its connections with Taiwan in the innovation sector with the launch of the Year of Canadian-Taiwanese Innovators. Canadian companies traditionally emphasize China’s market, while Taiwanese firms typically focus on the US market. Now, both sides are trying to bring together Taiwan’s hardware sector and Canada’s software sector. The Canadian Trade Office in Taipei has facilitated virtual meetings between 24 Canadian technology firms and 120 Taiwanese companies, resulting in more than 65 follow-up meetings, and held virtual workshops between Canada’s National Research Council and Taiwan’s National Center for High Performance Computing. - Taipei Times


Carolyn Campbell will join NorQuest College in November, 2020 as its new President and CEO. She has served as a Deputy Minister with the Government of Alberta, a Deputy City Manager with the City of Edmonton, and an Associate Dean of the University of Alberta School of Business. Most recently, she was Chair of United Way of the Alberta Capital Region and Vice Chair of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. - NorQuest

Tara Deakin was appointed to the Board of Directors of alternative financial services firm goeasy. She is the Executive Vice-President and Chief People Officer at Spin Master Ltd., a leading global children's entertainment company. She also serves as a Director and Vice Chair for Providence Health Care Foundation’s Board and is currently Chair of the Selection Committee and former Board Chair for the Association for Talent Development. - goeasy

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